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LOG
04-17-2010, 12:22 PM
I really want to know exactly the sample population these people have taken, and who and how they conducted it, but apparently the media does not need to cite its sources... (http://videogames.yahoo.com/events/plugged-in/racism-and-homophobia-in-gaming-hate-speech-corrodes-online-video-game-experiences/1396765)


One gamer told an opponent he presumed to be Jewish that he wished Hitler had succeeded in his mission. Many exchanges involve talk of rape or exult over the atomic bombing of Japan. There are frequent slurs on homosexuals, Asians, Hispanics and women.

I've been an online gamer for over ten years now...never heard any of those, or anything similar meant seriously.


"Personally, I don't do a lot of online gaming for that reason," said Flynn DeMarco, founder of the Web site GayGamer.net, which has worked with Microsoft and other companies on steps to clean up online gaming. "I don't play with anybody I don't already know."
...wow...he must have such an isolated world...


"A lot of the problem lies within the players themselves," DeMarco said.
1) Is someone else speaking for me?
2) Where does the rest lie? I'm curious. -.-


"There is always a subset of humanity that goes toward miscreant behavior," Toulouse said.
Water is wet, fire is hot, any other great truths you'd like to reveal?


With 1 million to 2 million players online at any one time, most of the policing falls to other users who report hate speech to the company, he said.
Pffffft. 1-2 million, yeah right.


Players whose conduct crosses into criminal behavior are reported to law enforcement, he said.
What? How do you conduct criminal behavior over a voice-set?


Gamers always have the power to mute out any other player they find offensive, or can block an offensive player and not encounter him again, Toulouse said.
Which should be pretty much all you need...

This may just be me, but I can't think of a time someone has seriously hurt my feelings in online gaming because of the way they talked to me, or in gaming at all for that matter. I seriously don't see this is an issue.

DoomBunny
04-17-2010, 04:20 PM
I've been an online gamer for over ten years now...never heard any of those, or anything similar meant seriously.

Are you kidding? Those are positively courteous compared to what I see on a regular basis. I wouldn't call it frequent - I'd say constant. I started playing online with the original Quake, and in every game, genre or service I've used the assholes vastly outnumber decent, polite people. I've heard all of those and worse, on a daily basis. Did you see the crap Jade Raymond copped when she was helping to promote Assassin's Creed? She's female, she's attractive, she's a successful producer, and the abuse directed at her for specifically these reasons was truly vile. And not at all unusual.

And whether or not it's 'meant seriously' is hardly relevant. If you wouldn't behave this way in public, why is it ok online? Does that mean it's ok to threaten to murder and mutilate my family if you're only joking?



...wow...he must have such an isolated world...


Not really. I rarely play with people I don't know anymore, specifically for that reason. When you're abused for winning, losing, or just playing, fun tends to go out the window. That aside, not playing online is hardly isolating. Look out the window. :p



Pffffft. 1-2 million, yeah right.


On XBox Live? Depending on the time and date, it's possible.



What? How do you conduct criminal behavior over a voice-set?


Depends on your whereabouts, and who you're reporting it to, but yes.



Which should be pretty much all you need...


The ability to block or ignore jerks doesn't mean it's ok to be a jerk. And it doesn't solve the problem.



This may just be me, but I can't think of a time someone has seriously hurt my feelings in online gaming because of the way they talked to me, or in gaming at all for that matter. I seriously don't see this is an issue.

So because it doesn't bother you, it shouldn't bother anyone else? I'm assuming you don't belong to any particular minority or ethnic group then. That aside, your disagreement with this particular article doesn't mean the issue doesn't exist. It does, and it's a blight on this hobby. Frankly I'm embarrassed to call myself a gamer sometimes, with the vile crap I see going on every day, whatever or wherever I play. Jeez, spend five minutes on general or trade chat in WoW and chances are you'll see something that would stun you if you heard it in public.

But that's what it comes down to - if it's inappropriate behaviour in public, why should anonymity make it acceptable?

Captcha
04-17-2010, 07:44 PM
I agree with DoomBunny - I don't do much online gaming, largely because I find it to be a really offensive environment.

And crimes can absolutely be committed over a voice set. In this case, I think it's likely uttering threats, or hate speech, but obviously people could also engage in fraud, conspiracy, and lots of other nasty, illegal behaviour. The supposed anonymity of the internet may lower people's inhibitions and defeat their better judgment, but it has no effect on the legality of their behaviour.

LOG
04-17-2010, 11:01 PM
Are you kidding? Those are positively courteous compared to what I see on a regular basis. I wouldn't call it frequent - I'd say constant. I started playing online with the original Quake, and in every game, genre or service I've used the assholes vastly outnumber decent, polite people. I've heard all of those and worse, on a daily basis.

Don't know anything about the Assassin Creed thing.
I'm sorry for you then, my experience is exactly the opposite. Whenever asses pop up in my online venues, the community usually either hazes or ignores them rather quickly. Which is why I say the ability to ignore is all we need. No one can make you feel slighted without your consent, and if you don't hear them, they can't affect you at all. We do not need either company or governmental aid to deal with a subset of morons, they have power for only as long as they have a voice.



And whether or not it's 'meant seriously' is hardly relevant. If you wouldn't behave this way in public, why is it ok online?

It's not ok, but unless they live two doors down, why would you take it seriously?
Meaning is made by context, not definition.
There is no clear and present danger, and you're not in public while you're online something like Xbox and the like.



Not really. I rarely play with people I don't know anymore, specifically for that reason. When you're abused for winning, losing, or just playing, fun tends to go out the window. That aside, not playing online is hardly isolating. Look out the window. :p

I'm not talking about online play being isolating, but that only playing with people you already know defeats the entire purpose of online gaming to begin with. If you interact only with people you already know, you never meet anyone else.



On XBox Live? Depending on the time and date, it's possible.

And it's only Xbox Live, it's a small section of the online community as a whole, and they're only taking a sample of that, so I find it a poor example.




The ability to block or ignore jerks doesn't mean it's ok to be a jerk. And it doesn't solve the problem.

A jerk has no power if you can't hear their voice. Just like someone who walks down a sidewalk repeatedly shouting he thinks everyone he sees is the spawn of evil, walk away and his words have no power.



So because it doesn't bother you, it shouldn't bother anyone else? I'm assuming you don't belong to any particular minority or ethnic group then.

Yeah, because you know, only their feelings can be hurt by words. Mine not be hurt very often, but the implication that I have to be part of a specific group in order to be offended by something is ridiculous.



That aside, your disagreement with this particular article doesn't mean the issue doesn't exist. It does, and it's a blight on this hobby. Frankly I'm embarrassed to call myself a gamer sometimes, with the vile crap I see going on every day, whatever or wherever I play. Jeez, spend five minutes on general or trade chat in WoW and chances are you'll see something that would stun you if you heard it in public.

I have spent hours in capital city chat and not heard anything remotely like this. When it happens over other venues, it's in an area like Halo chat or other match games. I live right next to a group of people who regularly play online games, including Halo and you can hear them through the walls, the worst I've heard out of them is common swear words. It's especially amusing, since the group is comprised of several different ethnicities, when the groups you are claiming to be hurt by this are participating in the same behavior it's quite contradictory.
There's a serious flaw in their argument besides, everyone is anonymous on the online games, so trying to slur someone based on their identity is intrinsically difficult, so a person who tries would really only end up looking like an ass.
There are people out there who do this, but for the most part, I find the issue largely exaggerated. Most gamers are there to game, not waste their time with people they will likely never meet again.



But that's what it comes down to - if it's inappropriate behaviour in public, why should anonymity make it acceptable?

It doesn't make it acceptable, but that anonymity also gives us the power to easily ignore them.


I don't do much online gaming, largely because I find it to be a really offensive environment.

If people really found this sort of stuff offensive, they would just not participate, like you.



And crimes can absolutely be committed over a voice set. In this case, I think it's likely uttering threats, or hate speech, but obviously people could also engage in fraud, conspiracy, and lots of other nasty, illegal behaviour. The supposed anonymity of the internet may lower people's inhibitions and defeat their better judgment, but it has no effect on the legality of their behaviour.
Yelling words at someone over a headset does not count as either threat or hate speech. Threat because there needs to be a clear and present danger to your life, hurt feelings do not count. It's not hate speech unless the speech encourages illegal violence, again, instances of incitement qualify as criminal only if the threat of violence is imminent. Defamation can only be claimed if it is uttered by a public figure.
It only counts as fraud if you are attempting to swindle someone. Claiming to be someone or someone else is just lying, and is not illegal.

CACTUSWENDY
04-17-2010, 11:12 PM
I too have been a game player for a number of years and have not encountered such treatment or behavior. I must be really lucky. Wait till I tell all my buds about this.

Captcha
04-18-2010, 01:05 AM
Yelling words at someone over a headset does not count as either threat or hate speech. Threat because there needs to be a clear and present danger to your life, hurt feelings do not count. It's not hate speech unless the speech encourages illegal violence, again, instances of incitement qualify as criminal only if the threat of violence is imminent. Defamation can only be claimed if it is uttered by a public figure.
It only counts as fraud if you are attempting to swindle someone. Claiming to be someone or someone else is just lying, and is not illegal.

I'm not sure why you believe that about uttering threats. The Criminal Code of Canada (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/ShowDoc/cs/C-46/bo-ga:l_VIII::bo-ga:l_IX//en?page=6&isPrinting=false), my jurisdiction, states:

264.1 (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/fra/C-46/page-6.html#codese:264_1) (1) Every one commits an offence who, in any manner, knowingly utters, conveys or causes any person to receive a threat
(a) to cause death or bodily harm to any person;

(b) to burn, destroy or damage real or personal property; or

(c) to kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that is the property of any person.


No qualifications re. 'Clear and Present Danger'.

And considering some of the things I've heard on some gaming sites, your 'It's not hate speech unless the speech encourages illegal violence' would definitely not be an impediment to prosecution. But, again, there's no such qualification in my jurisdiction, so the point is inapplicable in two ways.

Maybe things are different in your jurisdiction...given that I recognize the 'Clear and Present Danger' phrase from a Hollywood movie, I'm guessing that you're in the US? No idea about your laws, but I'm sure you'd agree that they only apply in your country.

efkelley
04-18-2010, 03:37 AM
LOG, I'd go so far as to say the guy that I just blasted at 300yds with my nuclear-tipped sniper rifle telling me he's going to 'shove a dog up ur moms ass and rape em both screamin and bleedin' is being more than a little hateful. One can plumb the depths of the internet and mine entire veins of vitriol so pure that it almost qualifies for an atomic number on the periodic table.

At the same time, that 'ignore' button is pretty handy, and while he's ranting and raving, I'm lining up the next shot.

Frankly, I think the Greater Internet Dickwad Theory (http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/3/19/) is gaining enough evidence to make the transition into an actual Law. However, enforcement of actual true laws governing speech and threats is pretty hard to accomplish on the old Intertubes here. It comes down to personal responsibility and a personal decision on just how much crap you're willing to listen to.

If it reaches your threshold, ignore them, mute them, silence them, etc. Do you actually care what they think? Do you actually want to pay attention to that kind of talk? Likely the answers are no and Hell No.

Most MMO's these days are really good about policing that kind of behavior. They keep transcript logs of every last thing typed through the game interface. If someone is being that hateful, they can expect a suspension at the least and banning at the worst. One might possibly attempt a prosecution, but my feeling is that the DA would likely say 'So someone said something mean on the Internet? Call the FBI.'

If you're using microphones and headsets, or playing on player-hosted servers, its a lot harder to enforce. Again, you have to use your own judgment. If someone is being deliberately offensive, about all you can do is ignore them. Find yourself a few actively-moderated servers with good folks. The asshats out there will drop in occasionally, but they'll get booted pretty quick. Heck, a lot of games now give the option for players to vote-kick offensive people.

Multiplayer games and the Massively's out there build their own communities. From what I've experienced, a very large proportion of the members of those communities are good folk that don't tolerate hate-speak. The haters get ignored, shunned, and eventually they go away. There will always be new ones popping in from time to time, but, once identified, they're pretty easy to avoid. You might hear some nasty things, but don't lose sleep over it. Pity those poor souls, and keep lining up for headshots. :D

SPMiller
04-18-2010, 04:58 AM
Yeah, uh, last time I played WoW, Blizzard was banning people regularly for the unbelievably racist/sexist/etc. stuff said over /1 and /2. (Of course, WoW propagated and presumably still propagates certain racial stereotypes, but that's another topic in itself.)

Other games aren't actively moderated by dedicated employees, so that sort of speech goes on unhindered.

LOG
04-18-2010, 06:09 AM
In these sort of cases, I'd like people to just take personal responsibility and mute anyone that annoys them. I find it okay for game developers to ban some people because most of their Terms of Use detail that such speech is not tolerated, essentially like a breach of contract.
But for people to get up in arms and declare they're going to stamp out abusive language on the internet or online gaming is simply unnecessary, never mind that it's no more likely to work then any other social wars we wage.

Captcha
04-18-2010, 06:40 AM
It's not so much a 'social war' as an economic one. If people are not playing the games because they're tired of being insulted, subjected to filthy hate-speech, etc., then the companies are losing customers.

If you're not one of the people who finds it offensive, great, but the companies seem to be becoming aware that there are people who are being driven away from their product. I wasn't aware of the different rules for different WoW games that SPMiller mentioned, but that sounds like the company is trying to work on a solution that will keep all their customers happy.

Judging by your posts in this thread, I'm guessing that you're a proponent of 'minimal government interference, let the free market reign, people should be strong enough to stand on their own' type ideas...am I right? Because if you are, I think you should be supporting this initiative. The government isn't involved, the companies are doing it because they want to maximize their customer base and therefore their profits, and one of the reasons this is happening is because some people were strong enough to stand up and make their opinions heard. Yay!

Fulk
04-18-2010, 08:16 AM
I've been a gamer for quite a long time. While there's no denying that there are without a doubt jerkwads that play, I think the severity of this is being overplayed.

Kate, as for the "free market, minimal interference" approach, I think you're applying it in the wrong fashion. Game companies are the interference in this case. I understand--it's their product, they get to choose how it is represented. But as the article briefly touches on and fails to expound on is the fact that game companies do not make good nannies. People will be banned or forced to make name changes for the wrong reasons (eg, a gay gamer trying to identify himself/herself as such, and being unable to because the word 'gay' isn't allowed at all) while others can freely insult without any consequence.

Game companies provide tools to deal with these sorts of players-- ignore buttons, vote kick (to kick them out of games), server bans (to keep them from playing a certain server at all), chat filters, etc. that the community can make use of to control their own user experience. Some might be serious in their offensive behavior, and they are dealt with. As LOG pointed out, many gamer communities are tight knit and shun those that cross a line. However, these same gamers often make jokes that are tongue-in-cheek and could be seen as offensive to those that don't understand they are joking.

If parents are worried about the kind of language or banter that goes on in games, it would do to follow the game rating on the box. Especially in the case of online games: They all state that online interactions are not rated, which is fair warning that one shouldn't be surprised when a four letter word is thrown about.

One last addendum: I think the frequency or infrequency of offensive or vulgar banter/behavior depends on the game, its community, and its primary demographic. EFKelley and SPMiller addressed this already. MMOs like WoW, while they do have their share of trolls and flamebait, tend to build communities where acting like a jerk or bigot will get you nowhere, and ultimately leads to a ban from the game altogether.

DoomBunny
04-18-2010, 02:05 PM
If people really found this sort of stuff offensive, they would just not participate, like you.


And that's it in a nutshell. That you, and so many others, don't see the problem with this is the whole issue.

Mr Flibble
04-18-2010, 03:31 PM
In these sort of cases, I'd like people to just take personal responsibility and mute anyone that annoys them.

Then I'd have to mute about half the players on some games, maybe more. Why should I? Thta's like saying I should ignore someone spouting racist hate as I walk down the street. Should I ignore people who go gay-stomping? Would your advice be to people who get abuse on the street to ' take personal responsibility for it and never go out of their house' Or should, I don't know, something be done to stop it?

Why should I have to mute half the pigging people who play just to be unabused, is the point.

One reason I stopped playing online games was the constant, yes constant, hate-filled crap that comes out of peoples mouths / keyboards. Seriously, some of it was absolutely vile.( Although Warhammer was okay like that - maybe cos all the jerkwads stayed with WOW :D Which made pvp a whoooole lot better, believe me.) Although I had to laugh when someone, in a little rant, called me a 'cocksucker'. I said, well, duh, I'm a girl, so yeah. I am.

efkelley
04-18-2010, 04:04 PM
Honestly, Oh Ye Who Heralds Doom in Bunny Form, I really don't see a problem with twisting the spigot on people that spew their crap towards my own personal Intertube. Heck, if I'm on the street I'll hear more offensive stuff for longer than I ever would during a gaming session. Believe me! I was in a bar here in Texas on Election Night 2008. The 'It should be a White House' jokes nearly got to me. I guess my personal philosophy summed up is: "Say anything you want. I don't have to listen, and I reserve the right to label you an Idiot'."

So, IRU, I must ask, when you're on the street and you hear someone gay-stomping, do you make them stop? Can you? Technically, its their First Amendment right to say pretty much anything they want so long as they don't physically threaten or cause harm to a specific individual. (By the by, that's how all those 'organizations' can get away with their Lone Wolf BS. THEY didn't TELL the lone wolf to go out and shoot gays. The lone wolf did it all of their own accord, right? RIGHT?? It's crap, but proving it is near impossible.)

I'm not saying its at all right. I'm just wondering if the hate-filled garbage heard on the street is easier to deal with than coming over the computer. On the street, sure, you can get in their face. Over the computer, its click-click, welcome to ignores-ville, fucko! I'll never see you again! To me, that's more personally useful.

Also, I find it amazing that WAR was easier to deal with hate-wise than Warcraft. I guess I just never ran across the vitriol lodestone that you stumbled on to. Some servers have a higher aggravation rating than others though. Where did you happen to play?

Mr Flibble
04-18-2010, 04:19 PM
So, IRU, I must ask, when you're on the street and you hear someone gay-stomping, do you make them stop? Can you? Technically, its their First Amendment right to say pretty much anything they want so long as they don't physically threaten or cause harm to a specific individual.

The First Amendment means bugger all here. And verbal abuse is a crime under the Public Order Act iirc


(1) A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he: (a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or(b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.

There is a caveat that you can say what you want privately...but not publicly.

Also online :
Harassment, even online, comes under the Protection from Harassment Act and can create both a civil and a criminal outcome.

Anyway, I hear someone gay-stomping, I do my best to make them stop and I have the right to do so because they are committing a crime.

Captcha
04-18-2010, 05:39 PM
Are we running into a US vs the Wider World issue? (I typo-ed that as 'Wiser' World - Freudian?) Maybe Americans are used to hearing more abusive language precisely because of their treasured First Amendment, while the rest of us find internet hate speech more offensive because we normally CAN do something about it, on the rare occasions that we hear it. I mean, if I'd been in a bar hearing about keeping the White House white and it was the dominant sentiment of the bar, I'd have left. But I can't imagine it being the dominant sentiment in practically any bar in this country, so...I don't have to make that decision. I'm not saying there's not racism in Canada, but something that overt, with people acting as if it's accepted and acceptable, I haven't seen. (Although I don't live in Canada's version of Texas - I think things are a little rougher elsewhere, maybe, especially with anti-Native sentiment).

The other divide that we might be seeing is straight white males against the wider world. I think that some of the stuff that I've heard and read in online gaming would be immediately obvious to anyone who hears or reads it, but maybe those incidents seem like an anomaly to straight white males, while people who are sensitized to other forms of abusive language see it as part of a larger pattern?

Just thoughts - it really seems strange to me that there's this level of disparity in the experiences of people here.

LOG
04-18-2010, 11:21 PM
@IRU, internet space is not public space, not technically.
People can't directly harm you over the internet, and they can't even truly persist in harassing you. If you have the power to stop harassment, and don't use it, then you're just as liable as the harasser for your situation.
It's different in public space, you can be harmed directly by another, and it can be much harder to get rid of someone without resorting to drastic measures.

Mr Flibble
04-18-2010, 11:38 PM
Verbal abuse/ harassment is still a crime ( here anyway) even on the net as I quoted above, whether they can do me harm or not - I don;t give a whassit about your First Amendment - it doesn't apply here. ( ETA: public space is where other people can hear / see what you say and is open to all. So yes, the internet is public.)

It's not whether I can stop it by ignoring them

It's why should I have to ignore them to be able to play in peace? ( Plus in pvp it's quite handy to be able to talk to your team, you know. Without being ripped) The same way that a homosexual should be able to go about their business without being abused.

The odd one or two, fair enough, because there's always one. But the amount there is...it's a) not practical to ignore them all and b) why should they be able to keep doing it? Why should I miss out because of them? ( note: I often used to opt out of /1 on WOW because of it- and missed all the other chat. I lose because of them. Which is fair...how? They are doing the wrong. I should not suffer for it. ) You stance is like saying 'well, you shouldn't own any valuables, that way you won't get burgled'

efkelley
04-19-2010, 05:29 AM
As a point of fact, verbal abuse is a crime here too. What's despicable are people taking cover behind the First Amendment to spew their hate. Or calling it 'political discourse'. Or trying to claim that no one can disagree with them because it's their right to say what they want. Such double standards are the meat and taters of the 24 hour news networks, and have very little to do with what everyday life is like here. To say that the opinion of the world towards the US is tainted by what our 'news' stations broadcast is to understate the case by an order of magnitude.

BUT! That said, yes, if you're in semi-rural Texas, you may just run into a place where the people grumble into their beers about the 'guvment' and think that seceding from the Union is a good idea. They have the right to their opinions, no matter how ignorant and foolish the rest of us might find them. They have the right to be wrong. It becomes a crime when they try to criminally act on their statements or directly threaten others who may be present. But to speak your mind is not criminal here, even if a lot of us would prefer those types kept their minds sequestered from public scrutiny.

In an effort to understand more about Canadian law as it pertains to free speech, I ran across this article on the differences between the First Amendment and Canada's Section 13 (http://www.chrc-ccdp.ca/proactive_initiatives/hoi_hsi/qa_qr/page2-en.asp). The interesting stuff is when you scroll down to the part asking specifically whether Canada has a First Amendment equivalent. The article cites a Supreme Court case (link broken, so use this one for R.A.V vs. City of St. Paul, MN (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._A._V._v._City_of_St._Paul)) and the article on Section 13 says that "...the Supreme Court of the United States found that a municipal law prohibiting the burning of a cross was an impermissible restriction on the First Amendment. The effect of the decision was to allow the burning of a cross on the lawn of the first black family to move into an all-white neighborhood."

That is incorrect! Look at the case in detail. The perpetrators did not seek permission to burn a cross on the other family's lawn. They went and did it. They were arrested, tried, and convicted on multiple charges including those which govern direct threats to persons and property. They lit a fire on private property. They scared the hell out of those poor people. They paid for their crimes. What the Supreme Court struck down was the ordinance banning their right to use a burning cross as a form of expression. Even if they'd done it on their own property, following all applicable fire safety laws, they'd still have been arrested because it is a crime to imply physical harm towards individuals. And, let's face it, a burning cross is one of the most vile and reprehensible symbols of intimidation you can find.

In truth, i was very surprised to hear that Canada didn't have a First Amendment equivalent. I mean, you DO, in a way, but it's more restrictive than I would have expected. Not that anyone here is likely to find themselves in need of gay bashing, racism, or anti-government ramblings, but the fact that it's actually illegal in Canada is shocking to me. I think Americans find any sort of speech restriction surprising. Like the burka bans in France. Or the minaret bans in Switzerland. Or the Mohammad cartoons sparking violent outrage in many Muslim nations. To us these things are somewhat incomprehensible. Will you really lose sleep over the fact that other people in the world have opposing views? Is it so horrifying that you can't simply Not Listen? Or just turn off the tv? Or push the Ignore button?

I see it as an extremely slippery slope. Where does it stop? And who decides what is and isn't offensive? For my part I would rather push the Ignore button than potentially face prosecution for saying something that the law says is offensive. In truth, I don't think the discussion here with all the potentially hate-charged themes breaks Canadian law, but I have to tell you I'm actually wondering just how far legitimate discussion can go now!

So, to other specifics, LOG, I take issue with this:


If you have the power to stop harassment, and don't use it, then you're just as liable as the harasser for your situation.

To me that kind of thinking can be extrapolated to a victim being responsible for the crime. More slippery slope.

On the flipside, IRU says:


It's not whether I can stop it by ignoring them. It's why should I have to ignore them to be able to play in peace?

Because we live in a world with idiots. It's going to come up from time to time. Peace is a button away. And if they're REALLY offensive, report them. They'll get kick-banned. You said it yourself:


Anyway, I hear someone gay-stomping, I do my best to make them stop and I have the right to do so because they are committing a crime.

How is hitting the Ignore or Report button any different than standing toe-to-toe with the gay bashers? Heck, it's probably easier and involves fewer police.

For Kate: I probably should have finished the story and laid out the consequences for the two guys saying 'Whites for White Houses'. It seemed clear they were trying to impress the bartender (a gorgeous little thing that I just MAY have a huge crush on :D). They failed in epic fashion. Word of their idiocy got around to the staff, and the next couple of times they came in their orders took thirty to forty-five minutes, and they were lucky to get anything resembling service. They haven't been back.

But that's how we end up dealing with those sorts of attitudes down here. Public ostracism may not change their minds, but it keeps the rest of us from having to listen to it. And if they'd really gotten offensive, they'd have been tossed out. They have the right to their opinions, and we have the right to ignore them. It's what we're used to, and I think leaning on the side of lenience in the enforcement of speech-curbing laws is the best policy.

SPMiller
04-19-2010, 05:46 AM
I can't imagine a court case stemming from hate speech in a game, or even in real life under most circumstances. As far as I know, white supremacism is still alive and kicking in most Western countries, and the shit they say is usually more racist and homophobic than most things said over a headset in a video game.

Still, the social climate in video games can be pretty damn offensive. Sexism is also a big problem. ("There are no girls on the intarwebz!!")

I also want to back up efkelley's assertion in that the shit I've heard in rural areas and white-flight suburbs around Dallas (including a few of my current neighbors) would blister the ears of most people posting in this thread. I'd go so far as to say nothing I've heard during any game has come close to being that awful. Shortly after Obama's election, for example, one neighbor mentioned that he had stocked up on several thousand rounds of ammunition in preparation for the revolt, and he proceeded to describe how said ammunition would be useful.

Captcha
04-19-2010, 06:02 AM
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (part of our constitution) includes the right to freedom of expression, but the rights in the Charter are not absolute. They can be over-ridden by reasonable limits that are in keeping with the standards of a free and democratic society. I kind of like it that the Charter doesn't equate freedom with anarchy - there are times when it is desirable, in a democratic society, to limit the freedom of some in order to enhance the freedom of others.

An often cited difference between the two styles of government is found in the American phrase 'Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness' and the Canadian 'Peace, Order, and Good Government'. The Canadian version is a little less ringing and emotional, but it's not a bad way to live, really. Canada doesn't have quite the same history of distrust of its government that the US has; if I need to sacrifice a little of my freedom in order to ensure that I am well-governed and that the disadvantaged in my society can live in peace, I'm okay with that. If you don't trust your government, it's a slippery slope; if you do trust them (maybe not to be competent, but at least not to be evil), then it's not a problem. And while I may not always agree with our elected officials, I'm generally okay with our courts, and they're the ones who would decide issues like this.

ETA: And maybe not hate speech, SPMiller, but Uttering Threats (as I outlined in an earlier post) is a fairly common charge in Canada. But I guess we're kind of wandering into a detail, right? I mean, I don't think that anyone is arguing that it's likely that people in an online gaming community will be charged, not so much because they aren't breaking the laws of some countries, but because jurisdiction issues are pretty huge. The original article seemed to be contemplating the institution of new limits by the game developers themselves, and that wouldn't require criminal charges at all.

It just comes down to a question of who should bear the burden for finding a way to coexist with people whose standards differ: should people who are offended turn off their earsets, or should people who are offensive turn off their mikes?

DoomBunny
04-19-2010, 07:33 AM
Honestly, Oh Ye Who Heralds Doom in Bunny Form,


Hehehe. :D



I really don't see a problem with twisting the spigot on people that spew their crap towards my own personal Intertube. Heck, if I'm on the street I'll hear more offensive stuff for longer than I ever would during a gaming session. Believe me! I was in a bar here in Texas on Election Night 2008. The 'It should be a White House' jokes nearly got to me. I guess my personal philosophy summed up is: "Say anything you want. I don't have to listen, and I reserve the right to label you an Idiot'."


That's a fair point, so let me clarify a few things. First up, as I'm not particularly vulnerable to abuse the issue bothers me in principal, not personally. I believe people are free to behave however they like, wherever they like, as long as they take responsibility for that behaviour. That means that if a community chooses to exclude or punish jerks, everything churns along nicely and people who might be vulnerable can play in peace.

The problem I see is when the community doesn't do this, or as demonstrated by this thread, doesn't see a problem. The upshot here is the article in question - some people can't play some games. Idiots will always outnumber reasonable, rational people, and that's not a problem until they get a hold of the wheel.

It's a lesser problem for someone like me, who enjoys playing shooters online but is simply bored stiff with the obnoxious competition. What they're saying doesn't bother me, I'm just tired of hearing it. I used to go to a lot of RPG and wargaming cons, and I avoid them now for much the same reason. When poor behaviour is the standard, what's the point in /ignoring everyong?

Polenth
04-19-2010, 10:28 AM
I enjoy multiplayer games, but I keep zone chats turned off and avoid most PvP systems. I socialise with people in my community and generally ignore the wider playerbase. It shouldn't have to be that way, but I don't play to be subjected to the abuse I face on the streets... I play to escape it.

That's the problem with saying "but people shout abuse on the streets". Yes they do, and yes it upsets me, but I have to walk down the street. It's not something I can avoid doing, so I can't avoid the abuse that goes with it. I can avoid abuse in hobbies and social pursuits. If people are abusive, I can get a new hobby.

As it is, I simply play in a way that avoids strangers. Others decide they'd rather not play at all. That won't change unless the gamer community as a whole considers abuse to be bad and does something about it, rather than just pockets of the community.


The other divide that we might be seeing is straight white males against the wider world. I think that some of the stuff that I've heard and read in online gaming would be immediately obvious to anyone who hears or reads it, but maybe those incidents seem like an anomaly to straight white males, while people who are sensitized to other forms of abusive language see it as part of a larger pattern?

That occurred to me too. There's a tendency for those outside of a discriminated group to see insults as being akin to "you have a big nose" and other playground insults.

It's easy to brush off a rape insult if you've never been raped, or a racist remark if you've never been followed by a gang of racists and feared for your safety. It's not so easy to brush off when it turns your hobby from something fun into a reminder of those bad things that have happened in life. The ignore button doesn't help. You've already read the insult and been reminded by the time you hit ignore.

Mr Flibble
04-19-2010, 10:34 AM
Because we live in a world with idiots. It's going to come up from time to time. Peace is a button away. And if they're REALLY offensive, report them. They'll get kick-banned.

Oh I do. But it gets time consuming and I just want to bloody play, you know?

Besides if I should exercise some personal responsibility ( by using my ignore button) then I don't see why they shouldn't ( by not being fuckwads) :D

Like i said, there's always the odd one or two. That's fine. It's when it becomes constant that it really starts to get my goat - especially when, as you say, people hide behind their 'right' to say whatever hate-filled crap they want. They may have a right to say it ( where they live anyway) - but I have a right to complain about the little shitweasels being little shitweasles without being told I'm wrong to do so or that actually it's not that bad.

Bloody shitweasels.

*is grumpy old woman*

JimmyB27
04-19-2010, 05:58 PM
Oh I do. But it gets time consuming and I just want to bloody play, you know?

Besides if I should exercise some personal responsibility ( by using my ignore button) then I don't see why they shouldn't ( by not being fuckwads) :D
Well, that's pretty much the whole point, isn't it? They should exercise some personal responsibility, but they don't, because they're fuckwads. Which is precisely why there's an ignore/report button.
This comment seems a bit like saying 'I don't see why the police should have to go to all the effort of arresting people, people should just not commit crimes.'

lachlan
04-19-2010, 06:16 PM
Well, that's pretty much the whole point, isn't it? They should exercise some personal responsibility, but they don't, because they're fuckwads. Which is precisely why there's an ignore/report button.
This comment seems a bit like saying 'I don't see why the police should have to go to all the effort of arresting people, people should just not commit crimes.'

Wait, what? We do rely on people choosing not to commit crimes, because there's no way that the police can watch everyone all the time. If the criminal population ever gets larger, then there's something seriously wrong.

Mr Flibble
04-19-2010, 06:17 PM
Well they should just not commit crimes lol. Actually the best way to avoid it is a) do not play when school is out and b) be aware what times teh rest of the world's schoolkids get out of school too which does sound ageist but actually keeps the worst of it at bay

ETA:Don't mind me. Am grumpy old woman giving up ciggies

Can you tell?

JimmyB27
04-19-2010, 08:20 PM
Well they should just not commit crimes lol. Actually the best way to avoid it is a) do not play when school is out and b) be aware what times teh rest of the world's schoolkids get out of school too which does sound ageist but actually keeps the worst of it at bay

ETA:Don't mind me. Am grumpy old woman giving up ciggies

Can you tell?
I don't come to AW to hear your anti-youth vitriol! Where's that ignore button?

efkelley
04-19-2010, 10:36 PM
Polenth: It sounds like you've got a good solution. I do something similar in that I solo-play most of my MMOs until I find a sub-community that's relatively asshat-free. During the search, the Ignore button gets a lot of use.

DoomBunny: Wargaming cons are occasionally horrifying aren't they? People get more passionate about their hobbies than just about anything else they do. But when that passion leads one to sweep your figures to the floor and stomp on them, what's the point? (Yes, I did see this happen once, though I was not the cause). I agree that when irrationality is the norm there's little point in ignoring everyone. If it's just too much to handle, I have to take my toys and go home.

IRU: I do indeed know! Occasionally in City of Heroes when I'm running PuGs we'll get a chatty-box or a wannabe gangster kid, or something similar. I get to grumble and say 'another one of THOSE'. Grumbling about the shitweasels is kind of a mini-game. JimmyB27 echoes my thoughts. People should behave better. But they won't, so meh. At best I get a 'guess what I heard on the internet today'. At worst 'Reported'.

In all truth though, I might use my Ignore button once every 2 or 3 weeks. Maybe I just don't hang out in the Wrong Places often enough. I remember playing EVE though. I wondered if there was a maximum size for the Ignore file.

Mr Flibble
04-19-2010, 11:11 PM
At best I get a 'guess what I heard on the internet today'.

Wanna hear about the time some guy followed me around for two hours trying to convert me to Christianity? Yes, I got Evangelised in WOW. He was quite sweet as it happens. He kept saying 'but of course there's only the one God, how can you believe otherwise?' He was also rather stunned to learn there are more than three religions in the world. Bless.

I also learned rather sharpish that on a role-playing server you get out of the starting areas ASAP. Especially if you're playing a female character. I had to report quite a few guys there...*shudders at players jumping solo female characters and pretending to rape them*

Fulk
04-20-2010, 04:47 AM
Wanna hear about the time some guy followed me around for two hours trying to convert me to Christianity? Yes, I got Evangelised in WOW. He was quite sweet as it happens. He kept saying 'but of course there's only the one God, how can you believe otherwise?' He was also rather stunned to learn there are more than three religions in the world. Bless.


That's an experience I've never had in WoW, but I almost wish something similar would happen to me. Partly because it's plain bizarre, but also because I would challenge them to an in-game duel for my soul.



I also learned rather sharpish that on a role-playing server you get out of the starting areas ASAP. Especially if you're playing a female character. I had to report quite a few guys there...*shudders at players jumping solo female characters and pretending to rape them*

I've been looking into some WoW roleplay servers, to determine which servers had the best communities, and I think someone's advice for people joining was to get out of Goldshire as soon as possible. I didn't understand why. Now I do.

LOG
04-20-2010, 05:39 AM
That's an experience I've never had in WoW, but I almost wish something similar would happen to me. Partly because it's plain bizarre, but also because I would challenge them to an in-game duel for my soul.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!



Wanna hear about the time some guy followed me around for two hours trying to convert me to Christianity? Yes, I got Evangelised in WOW. He was quite sweet as it happens. He kept saying 'but of course there's only the one God, how can you believe otherwise?' He was also rather stunned to learn there are more than three religions in the world. Bless.
ROFL.



I also learned rather sharpish that on a role-playing server you get out of the starting areas ASAP. Especially if you're playing a female character. I had to report quite a few guys there...*shudders at players jumping solo female characters and pretending to rape them*
I only wish you had known about the tards before-hand. Those guys are definitely tards, we could talk about the asshats on RP servers. All. Day. Long.

Mr Flibble
04-20-2010, 04:49 PM
To be fair, the Evangelism was probably my fault. Someone told someone else off for saying Jesus Christ on /1. Completely went off on one about it, big old rant. Got lots of back chat. Ofc I just had to say 'Well technically it's only blasphemy if you're Christian'. *BAM!* Evangelised. That'll learn me.



I only wish you had known about the tards before-hand. Those guys are definitely tards, we could talk about the asshats on RP servers. All. Day. Long.

It wasn't so bad for me. Think about the fourteen-year-old girl I found completely freaking out - and who can blame her?

Though one bloke got a bit of a shock when he tried it on my Old Man's lady rogue :D

SPMiller
04-20-2010, 05:05 PM
I only played on PvP servers for a reason. The constant ganking sprees were well worth the benefit of avoiding the arpeers and the carebears.

darkprincealain
04-23-2010, 09:46 PM
I think there is a middle ground. I found Phantasy Star Universe very well moderated. FF11, not so much.

I actually had a stalker on FF11 for a bit--not in the real life sense, but in the sense that he'd notice I was on and before I could do much of anything he'd try to get in my group. He had made several incorrect assumptions about my RL based on my in-game character. People are weird.

But such is life, I think, if you're going to play an MMO. That's why the ratings tab says "online interactions not rated by the ESRB," because they, really honestly, have to depend on the individual player and the game's staff to do the work.